In the Ad Tech space is especially tricky to find engineers with the experience in the field. Sometimes you need to look overseas, not because of the money you can save, but for expanding your options.
Reducing development costs up to 10x times, and finding geniuses programmers living in remote villages is tempting. It doesn’t come free: if you never worked with a remote engineer, there are factors you need to consider.
The first factor is communication. There should be a tacit agreement that both parties will always be available. It doesn’t mean you need your team in a specific timezone; it means that someone in the group, a tech lead, a project manager, should be responsible for staying at the top of everything.
The second factor is coordination. You can use tools like JIRA or Trello to organize the work. It would help if you also have clear requirements (users stories or product design documents), and a prioritized backlog. There should be no doubt about what’s next on the plate, by the time the remote team starts to work.
The third factor is deadlines. You can ask for estimates, but you are ultimately responsible for setting the deadlines. I can’t stress this enough: you own deadlines, the person in charge of the engineering team, the client, that’s you.
Deadlines define how much a project is going to cost. If your remote team doesn’t have deadlines, they won’t know what path to follow when bugs are found, blank spaces in requirements need to be filled, code needs to be shipped. They should know what decision to make, that will be in most favor to hit the deadline.
The last factor, but not least important: you. If you become the bottleneck, especially with remote teams working in opposite timezones, everything will be delayed until you respond that Slack message, or email.
If you hire a remote team with excellent communication skills, you create a solid plan with a clear deadline, you should be able to go on vacation and come back to contemplate real progress. Daily update meetings are important for removing blockers, but if the organized your remote team correctly, those meetings will become a formality.